How about a serious thread for once /g/
I imagine you being here knows at least what the internet used to be. We are all more or less guilty when it comes to feeding the beast (Google) with our queries, secret wishes and informations. Most still do I imagine.
Now, at one point most users here have stopped feeding it with data and browsing without adblocker is just for new or very old people. In the last couple years tho, Google search results took a) a turn for the worse and b) they've accelerated their gatekeeping.
One used to find some niche forums, homemade web site for topics you searched. It was a magical thing, getting lost while surfing while expanding your own horizon.
Let's talk about the present state:
They've scrubbed sex from their metaresults, which sadly included a lot of nsfw discussions/websites.
They've scrubbed so many small websites from their results just because of "misinformation" - in reality, they were happy to kill them because those small websites refused to install ads on their websites.
It was okay to find your results in page 3 or 7 or 13, but now, while they still show your search queries into 317,000,000 results, once you click through, it ends on pafe 7 and "oh anon, it seems you've reached the end of the results" - fuck you, Google
They had 2 decades to learn what's best for the user, but now they're using that information to completely turn the tables around and refuse to show the good stuff.
In turn, it's pretty disheartening for website owners and for existing communities even more, now that no new users join your forum/site or whatever. When those complain to Google, they get told 'it's in the index' - but that's only true in theory as your search just don't point to the small web anymore.
It's all bigTech.com/YourSite
instead of YourSite.com
And don't get me started on mobile browsing and Google deranking sites which aren't optimized for it.
The internet felt so much bigger 1-2 decades ago and I miss it.